The Regional Reorganisations and Development Minister-designate, Mr. Dan Kwaku Botwe, has stated that the creation of new regions, as promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was not politically motivated.
Mr. Botwe said the move would bring development closer to the people, while alleviating the level of poverty in those areas.
Ghana’s region stock is expected to increase from 10 to 14 in line with the NPP’s electioneering campaign.
The new administrative regions are expected to be carved out of the Northern, Western, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions.
Some political watchers have questioned the decision arguing that the creation of new regions in itself does not drive development.
But appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, in Accra, yesterday, the Okere law maker said, the NPP was motivated to split those regions so as to speed up development in the target areas.
He said the processes leading to the new demarcations would be done with broad stakeholder consultations to ensure everybody was satisfied with the expected split.
The National House of Chiefs, political parties, and civil society organisations would be involved, Mr. Botwe said, adding that existing works done in creating new regions would be applied.
He said in line with the 1992 Republican Constitution, a Commission would be constituted to avoid any legal setback.
A referendum would be held concurrently with the 2019 District Assembly elections in the target regions to approve or reject the planned reorganisation, he added.
The special purpose minister conceded that demarcation of the areas alone was not enough to bring the needed development, assuring that the government would give the necessary budgetary assistance to the new regions for them to send
development to communities in the region.
Asked how the government intends to deal with likely ‘confusion’ over which towns become the capital of the new regions, Mr. Dan Botwe said there was massive goodwill towards the planned regional realignments among people in the yet to be created regions expressing the hope that they will support the project to see its effective implementation.
Government, he said, was aware of the cost implications but said the benefits to the citizens in those areas in particular and the country in general outweighs the financial pressure on the national kitty.
He said the infrastructural development would come with the creation of jobs to reduce the unemployment in those areas.
By Lawrence Markwei and Julius Yao Petetsi